Section 5301 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code requires the annual assessment of non-commercial aircraft to the owners as of January 1 of each year.
Aircraft of historical significance may be eligible for exemption, if certain criteria are met. For more information, call the Exemption Division.
Determining the Situs of the Aircraft
Non-commercial aircraft has situs for taxation purposes at the airport in which they are habitually situated when not in flight. (Property Tax Rule 205(b); Revenue and Taxation Code 5362)
The Assessor also relies on, but is not limited to, F.A.A. registration information and reports from the airports fixed based operators in determining the taxable situs of the aircraft.
The purpose of the Aircraft Property Statement is to provide the Assessor with information regarding the aircraft that will aid in the determination of fair market value for the current year. This form is a legal affidavit for which the information provided is declared to be true under penalty of perjury.
Aircraft Property Statements are mailed to identified aircraft owners prior to January 1 and are required to be returned by April 1. The form must be completed in its entirety, with as much detail as possible regarding the current condition of the aircraft. Instructions and other general information are contained on the back of the form. Failure to file an Aircraft Property Statement will compel the Assessor to estimate the market value of the aircraft and apply a penalty assessment (Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 501 and 5367).
"All information requested by the assessor or furnished in the property statement shall be held secret by the assessor. The statement is not a public document and is not open to public inspection, except as provided in Section 408". (Revenue and Taxation Code Section 451)
The Assessor is required to use retail market data in determining assessable values for aircraft. Aircraft market value guides are the main source for determining the assessable values. Information (current engine and airframe hours, status of paint and upholstery, etc.) provided on the Aircraft Property Statement will allow the Assessor to make appropriate value adjustments (if necessary) based on the actual condition of the aircraft. Additional information may be requested by the Assessor.
AFTER ENROLLMENT, TAXPAYER REQUESTS FOR VALUE REVIEW MUST BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING.
If an aircraft was sold, destroyed, or permanently removed from Santa Clara County PRIOR to January 1, details should be provided by the assessee (owner) shown on the statement.
THE SALE, REMOVAL, OR DESTRUCTION OF AN AIRCRAFT AFTER LIEN DATE (January 1) DOES NOT RELIEVE THE OWNER OF TAX LIABILITY FOR THE COMING FISCAL YEAR, July 1 through June 30 of each year.
Additional information regarding aircraft assessments may be obtained by contacting the Business Personal Property Division of the Assessor's office.